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Storms miss fires as state swelters

Friday January 11, 2013 - 09:53 EDT

Queensland's heatwave will continue into next week with many communities enduring their hottest conditions in decades.

Brisbane residents have experienced their warmest night in seven years, with the temperature only dropping as low as 25.9 degrees.

In Longreach in the state's west yesterday a maximum temperature of 46 degrees was recorded.

Coolangatta on the Gold Coast was the only place on the Queensland mainland where it did not hit 30 yesterday.

The temperature there was 29.4 degrees.

Severe storms dumped heavy rain in parts of the south east last night but not on Bribie Island north of Brisbane where fires continue to burn.

Toowoomba Airport recorded 60 millimetres in less than an hour and Rockside Mountain west of Ipswich had 66 millimetres.

Ergon Energy says more than 4,000 homes and businesses lost power in parts of Toowoomba, Charlton, Kingsthorpe, Millmerran and around Tara.

Livestock lost

Dry lightning strikes in the state's central west yesterday sparked a number of fires and resulted in the loss of livestock.

There are 17 fires burning in Queensland this morning.

Acting Fire Inspector for Rural Operations Alan Johnson says fires are burning as far south as Tambo and Blackall through to Muttaburra and Barcaldine.

"The fires they're monitoring up around Muttaburra have caused serious concern for livestock like sheep and cattle," he said.

He says most of the fires have been contained.

"They're burning within containment lines but they're still being monitored," Mr Johnson said.

"There's also some that are still active especially round Blackall area - there's still work being done there."

Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) senior forecaster Michael Knepp says the heat could be even worse today.

"It will get warmer [but] a similar day to yesterday temperatures between five and 10 degrees above normal especially inland.

Fire danger

A severe fire danger warning remains in place for parts of the Channel Country and central west districts - and the far western parts of the Warrego district.

BOM says temperatures up to 47 degrees, relative humidity down to 10 per cent and winds up to 45 kilometres an hour.

Up to a dozen fire crews are maintaining containment lines on Bribie Island and residents near White Patch Esplanade are urged to remain vigilant.

There is no current threat to property but a large smoke plume and ash have blanketed the area.

The Queensland Fire and Rescue Service is advising people with respiratory problems to stay inside and keep doors and windows closed.


- ABC

© ABC 2013

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